“The Real Thing” and “Who We Are” are among the 19 international virtual-reality experiences set to compete at NewImages, a new Paris-based festival dedicated to international virtual-reality creations.
Replacing the Paris Virtual Film Festival, this new event will boast two competition lineups: one for contemplative VR films and another for immersive/standup VR.
Two prizes will be given by a jury comprising the filmmakers Hubert Charuel (whose debut feature “Petit Paysan” won three Cesar Awards), Marc Caro and Jan Kounen, as well as the producer Sophie Goupil from Les Poissons Volants and Myriam Achard.
World premieres include Benoit Felici and Mathias Chelebourg’s “The Real Thing,” a VR documentary exploring urban myths in the suburbs of Shanghai; Jürgen Hansen and Pierre-Emmanuel Le Goff’s “Dans la peau de Thomas Pesquet,” following a man who has dreamed of becoming an astronaut since childhood and participates in an intensive training with American astronaut Peggy Whitson; and Manuel Lefèvre and Frédéric Gourmet’s “700 Requins dans la nuit” (pictured), an exploration of the Pacific Ocean where hundreds of sharks live and hunt.
Other contemplative VR titles in NewImages’ roster include Trevor Snapp and Sam Wolson’s “Who We Remain,” shedding light on the war raging in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, and Kuan-Yuan Lai’s “The Train Hamasen,” a fantasy short film about people from different cultures and ages who wait for a train to start a journey through time and space.
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Among the immersive VR experiences competing are Stéphane Barbato’s “Immersive Mugshots,” Patrick Boivin’s “Trinity,” Pete Billington & Jessica Yaffa Shamash’s “Wolves in the Walls” and Bohdon Sayre and Adam Volker’s “Manifest 99.”
The inaugural edition of NewImages will have an African focus, featuring diverse VR works such as Selly Raby Kane’s “The Other Dakar,” Jim Chuchu’s “Let This Be a Warning,” Ng’endo Mukii’s “Nairobi Berries” and Jonathan Dotse’s “Spirit Robot.”
The event, which is set to run April 4-8 at the Forum des Images – the former venue of Series Mania – in the center of Paris, is expecting 10,000 participants. NewImages is being organized by the Paris Virtual Reality Film Festival and the French company I Love Transmedia.